IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference
15-18 April 2018 // Barcelona, Spain
Leading the Way to 5G and Beyond


Industry Panels

P1. LiFi: Moving to Nano-Meter Wireless Communications
P2. New Perspectives on Wireless Communications and Networking for Industrial Automation
P3. 5G and Verticals: The Connected and Automated Driving (CAD) Case
P4. 5G as a Platform and not a Protocol?  On Recent Trends for Accelerating and Securing Cloud Native 5G
P5. How Can 5G Help Resolve Global Water Challenges?
P6. Economics and Adoption of Millimeter Wave Technology in Future Networks

P1. LiFi: Moving to Nano-Meter Wireless Communications
The visible light and infrared spectrum together is 2600 times larger than the entire radio frequency spectrum, and this simple fact provides the motivation for using visible and infrared light as a high bandwidth complement to radio. The applications range from gigabit interconnects in data centres, through mobile networking in homes and offices to point-to-point long range wireless backhaul links outdoors. The latter is also referred to ‘LiFi’. LiFi expands the capability of visible light communication (VLC) which primarily is static point-to-point wireless communication using the visible light spectrum. LiFi, in contrast, supports mobility, multiuser access and handover, and will lead to complete wireless networking solutions.  LiFi will provide additional connectivity (to radio frequency (RF)) and huge data pipes which will help make wireless communications future-proof.

LiFi has the potential to act as the catalyst of a process that ultimately leads to a merger of the wireless communications industry and the lighting industry. In the lighting industry, LiFi provides a means to diversify and to develop new applications and this will propel the trend of light-as-a-service (LaaS). This will pull the lighting industry into the domain of the wireless communications industry. As a result, new business models will be created in the lighting industry which are needed as the life-time of a light emitting diode (LED) light bulb is 20 years and more.  The wireless communication industry requires unprecedented data rates and orders of magnitude higher data densities due to new services in 5G such as augmented and virtual reality as well as mobile TV. In addition, wireless networks will need to connect 100 billion internet-of-things (IoT) devices. This will magnify the radio frequency spectrum crunch, and ‘LiFi’ will be the ‘pressure valve’ which means that there will be a market ‘push’ in that industry to develop wireless communications equipment based on light, a market that is then also being addressed by the lighting industry. Both will compete for the same market where ‘lighting’ is only one of thousands of services provided by LiFi-enabled lighting and communication technology.

This panel will elaborate on the technical opportunities and research challenges that arise from moving from static point-to-point VLC links to a LiFi network that is capable of serving hundreds of mobile and fixed nodes. In this context, the panel will shed light on the different, often conflicting, requirements from the two major industries – the lighting industry and the wireless communication industry. Moreover, the consequences stemming from the recent standardization activities will be discussed – primarily focusing on the IEEE 802.11 LC (light communication) Study Group activities. Lastly, the panel will moot commercialization challenges of this disruptive technology.

P2. New Perspectives on Wireless Communications and Networking for Industrial Automation
Driven by the prospects of Industrial Internet-of-Things and the 4th revolution of industry (Industry4.0), industrial automation has become one of the prioritized application scenarios for wireless communications. In addition to the cost reduction of cable replacement, wireless solutions are expected to enable more flexible deployment, support mobility e.g. of machines and robots, and reduce the cost of maintainers caused by e.g. aging of cables.  In the past decade, several wireless communication standards have been developed such as WirelessHART, ISA100 and WIA-PA for process automation, and WSAN abd WIA-FA for factory automation. The most recent efforts in 5G communities on the URLLC (ultra-reliable low latency communication) for industrial automation have gained even more attention globally from both academia and industry.

However the wireless community is facing a long-existing challenge – the lack of domain knowledge of industrial automation. On one hand, most of the existing wireless technologies are developed primarily for consumer domains like the WiFi and 2G/3G/4G cellular networks. As a result, they don’t have the chance to look into the domain specific requirements in industrial automation, thus lack of specific optimization in terms of latency, determinism, reliability, safety, long life cycle, etc. E.g. insufficiencies in the existing 5G URLLC roadmaps have been identified by some recent research. On the other hand, the development of the above industrial wireless technologies were mainly driven by the automation domain i.e. lack of resources and competence to customize and optimize the fundamental technologies. As a result. the existing industrial wireless technologies are mostly still in early stage of market acceptance due to technical insufficiencies.

Therefore, there is an urgent need from the both sides to cross the chasm of domain knowledge and closely work together when new generation technologies. In particular, in the panel, we want to invite the authorities from automation industry and senior researchers on industrial wireless to this panel. We expect the panelists to bring in the fresh and insight domain knowledge about the use cases, requirements, gaps and challenges form industrial practices to the audience who are mainly researchers out of the automation area.

P3. 5G and Verticals: The Connected and Automated Driving (CAD) Case
Connected and Autonomous Driving supported by radio technologies is one of the most challenging market and research fields today. To jointly identify standardization requirements for 3GPP, ETSI, SAE, etc. and certification challenges is key in next 1-2 years. In addition, new spectrum usage modalities between car and classical telecom industry will be a prerequisite to implement CAD in coming years. The panelist from car, telecom industry and academia will elaborate on technical and regulatory challenges to help identify the barriers for a smooth market introduction.

P4. 5G as a Platform and not a Protocol?  On Recent Trends for Accelerating and Securing Cloud Native 5G
With the promise of offering ultra-reliable, low-latency communications, high speed, 5G is expected to introduce a golden digital age of remote healthcare, autonomous cars and advanced robotics use-cases. It heralds an explosion of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) applications and accelerates the already rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). But today's mobile networks are not set up in a way that can handle 5G requirements without needing extensive over-engineering. To make 5G possible, they'll need to borrow principles of the more scalable, flexible networks that deliver cloud-based services from IT companies like Amazon and Google.

This transformation is called cloud native. For realizing this vision, another model than Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) must be adopted, a model derived from the cloud service providers themselves, a model made by the developers for the developers, and known as the  Platform-As-A-Service (PaaS) concept.

One of the requirement to build a PaaS is to adopt the micro-service based architecture. The micro-service approach allows to simplify complicated software systems by breaking them into sub-components and distributing these components across many computing servers. In this approach, an application consists of many small independent services, each service is running on its own independent process.

The introduction of micro-services in cloud infrastructure provides modularity, flexibility and distributed software components, but raise new challenges related mainly on their ability to address the stringent requirements of 5G in terms of latency, high reliability and high resiliency and also to the security aspect which is complexified due to the explosion of micro-services number and as consequence the increase of the attack surface. 

For the first part, the panel will discuss how the microservices can address the Telco-grade feature of 5G PaaS? How they should be virtualized and deployed? How they should be accelerated? What kind of isolation should be put in place to enable microservices support end to end network slicing together with safety critical related verticals (e.g., energy, automotive)?

The second part of the panel will discuss the cloud security which should be designed side-by-side to the technological evolution of the platform.  In fact, 5G raise many security challenges, as a significant amount of sensitive data would be communicated over the wireless media, then often stored and processed as a service by the cloud operator’s data centers using the PaaS. Hence, data privacy is being a growing concern for all Telecommunication parties (Telecom and cloud operators, service providers, constructors, corporate clients and private users), and the need for software privacy and security solutions inherent to the cloud service is increasing. So far, practical systems have considered a security agnostic to the transmission system, however numerous theoretical insights back to C.E. Shannon have established that fundamentally secure transmission is attainable by jointly design the reliability with the security. Additionally, achieving information theoretical security using coding constructions in wiretap models is considered as one of major alternatives for facing the security challenges of the post quantum era after the collapse of the contemporary protocols and cryptography algorithms based on computational complexity as factorization and discrete logarithm problems. Accordingly it is critical to pave the way for the coming post quantum cloud security, by providing further understanding and insight  into the  technical challenges to come, as into the recent research  avenues   that need to progress in this area.

This panel will be a brainstorming on identification of emerging concepts, technologies, and tools for accelerating and securing microservices for cloud-native 5G system. The aim is to:

  • bring together leading researchers from both academia and industry,
  • provide a forum for researchers from diverse backgrounds to share their views on design and development of microservices-based cloud-native 5G system,
  • launch an open dialogue on the acceleration and security in microservice architecture,
  • identify key cloud-native enablers and technologies that can deliver significant performance, capacity, coverage, and user-experience improvements in future high-performance microservice development and operational environments.

Establish an Insight from research and industrial perspective into the coming post quantum security Algorithms and Protocols.

P5. How Can 5G Help Resolve Global Water Challenges?
Smart water management has become a critical challenge that must be addressed in the upcoming years. For instance, when on 2015, Member States of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, this agenda included GOAL 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Many factors like economic growth, seasonal climatic conditions and rising population are impacting the delivery of fresh water to millions of people. Moreover, a number of effects linked to climate change, such as lengthy droughts and extreme weather events, are worsening the situation. In its vision report, the World Water Council pointed out that the current water crisis is not about having too little water to satisfy our needs. Rather, it is about managing water inefficiently.

ICTs in general, and 5G in particular, have the potential to improve the management of water resources so that water sustainability, efficiency and accessibility are enhanced — for example the use of ICT in agricultural fields can increase efficiency in irrigation, with predicted savings of up to 70 % of water. However, there are many difficulties that need to be jointly addressed by the water and ICT communities to ensure sustainable development and the equitable distribution of water-derived benefits, which include technical (ICT requirements, standardization) and non-technical (governance, industry-related) aspects. The objective at large of this panel is to discuss about these difficulties and their potential solutions and assess whether 5G can take us faster and further than existing ICTs.

In particular, the panel will discuss whether and how 5G can contribute to address the challenges in the following areas that have been identified as key by ITU:

  • Mapping-monitoring of water resources: aspects to be solved in this area pertain to identify to what extent we can track (or even tag) water and see how disputes can be resolved via governance. In this case, ICT/5G systems properly handling remote sensor traffic can play a vital role.
  • Asset management for the water distribution network: in this case, the focus is on what ICT/5G can bring to enable accurate prediction of both supply and demand for water, in emerging and developing economies and also in rural and urban areas. It will also be important to see if potential solutions to this problem might be disruptive for current ecosystems and business models.
  • Setting up early warning systems: Gathering huge amount of data on water flow, pressure, temperature and other metrics, can allow predicting environmental disasters like floods or when a system is on the verge of failure (e.g., pipe breach).
  • Just-In-Time irrigation in agriculture: Information collected from sensors can be used to know the right time to irrigate and the right volume of water that should be applied, with the corresponding water savings. 5G-enabled technologies like big data, machine learning, and MEC will be capitalized on for the purposes of the last two bullet items.

It is important to discuss about these issues now that 5G is still in the early phases of standardization to create awareness to all industry stakeholders on the ICT requirements coming from water management needs. In that sense, as it will be described below, the backgrounds of the panelists and the moderator are very well aligned with the topics of discussion presented above and are representing the relevant players in the water-ICT arena: The panel contains representatives from a standardization body (ITU-T), an academic institution (Institute for Water, Environment and Health of the United Nations University), a water management company (Veolia) and one ICT operator (Telefónica) and is moderated by the Director General of the Network for Water in European Regions and Cities, NETWERC H2O.

P6. Economics and Adoption of Millimeter Wave Technology in Future Networks
Future rentable 5G network deployments are tightly linked to the affordable availability of a set of new technology enablers. Among the most important ones, Millimeter Wave (mmW) technology is for sure a pillar of future wireless networks, both for access and for backhaul connections.

Backhaul enhancements are desperately needed to cope with the management of a skyrocketing number of devices (order of several billions according to the IoT paradigm) that will connect to future smart networks and grids, within bigger and bigger (smart) city conglomerates. Backhaul advancements are also needed to handle the huge amount of additional data exchanged by new wireless moving sources, e.g. the booming self- and automated-driving vehicles, each one expected to create gigabyte of data per Km.

Access enhancements are needed as well, as the forthcoming 5G system, and its successors, will have to provide users at the same time with smooth, reliable and high bandwidth connections, leveraging on a set of different access technologies. Legacy system will be enhanced via aggressive carrier aggregation schemes, meanwhile new radio technologies will leverage the consistent additional new spectrum bands, mainly in the mmW regions, being allocated for wireless access.

As an example of deployment issues the ecosystem is going to face for backhaul, enhancements are needed w.r.t. several technologies related to affordable and capillary backhaul to feed tens or hundreds of small cells per kilometre square. But if the technology for high capacity small cells at sub-6GHz frequency is available and well tested, the backhaul part is still an open question. The cost of sites, in urban environment, risks to be predominant on the cost of equipment and maintenance. Solutions for low footprint, reduced environmental impact, easy installations, fiber free backhaul have to be sought to stimulate operators to move toward a full and affordable 5G deployment.

This panel focus the attention to aspects not yet touched when discussing a broad deployment of a new technology, bringing to the next level the mmW adoption, especially when one coniders to trespass the 100 GHz threshold.

The panel aims at extending and enlarging the ecosystem discussion to aspects mainly non related to pure technical topics, which are supposed to impact in a broad sense the economics of the whole society:

  • Socio-cultural hurdles for a broad adoption of mmW links
  • Business innovation needed for a smooth adoption of new technologies
  • Return on Investment of mmW deployment for backhaul and access networks
  • New technologies that synergize and facilitate the adoption of mmW technology
  • Breakthrough innovations in the mmW domain
  • WiGig, WiFi and cellular mmW access: potential synergies and ROI differences
  • Standardization status of mmW deployment
  • Regulatory aspects of mmW deployment
  • New business opportunities for mmW adoptions with focus on SMEs